What’s it like to study at Warwick Business School? | TopMBA.com

What’s it like to study at Warwick Business School?

By Laura L

Updated October 3, 2022 Updated October 3, 2022

Manny Ahsan is an operations specialist for Otsuka Pharmaceutical Companies Europe and an executive MBA student at Warwick Business School (WBS) in the UK, ranked 17th in the world in the QS Global EMBA Rankings. 

The executive MBA programme at WBS aims to develop the strategic leadership skills that students need to become a change- maker and create immediate impact. The programme attracts students from over 20 nationalities to help share different voices, viewpoints and ideas. 

Why did you choose to study an MBA at one of the top ranked schools? 

The diversity is exactly why Manny chose WBS over the other elite business schools on his shortlist. He said: “The cohort looked really diverse in terms of the cultures, backgrounds and industries students were coming onto the course with. 

“Having the opportunity to meet over 200 new people and understand what they’re hoping to achieve, what roles they’re in and where they aim to be in the future, has been amazing. It’s opened my mind to many more possibilities, and I’ve learned more than I ever imagined.” 

Beyond the cohort, WBS has a network of over 53,000 alumni from 167 countries, with an enormous breadth of experience and industry insight for current students to draw from.  

“The network alone is worth the investment, before you’ve even delved into the advanced business knowledge and leadership training,” said Manny. “I looked at the return on investment in studying an EMBA and it’s a difficult calculation to make, but looking back I know I made the right decision. I understand business much better and how to work with different types of people.”   

What does a typical week look like for you? 

“I decided to sign up to the Evening EMBA, which means that I work during the week at a pharmaceutical company and then I have lectures on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings,” said Manny. “The evenings in between and weekends are for reading the course material and completing assignments. 

“WBS also have guest speakers and networking events throughout the year. There are lots of opportunities to dip in and out of the events you fancy attending.”  

With such a busy schedule, having the right mindset and making time for wellness are critical for Manny. He said: “You do need to be in a happy, balanced place while studying and working so intensely. In order to get there, you have to make time for yourself to re-energise.  

“I’m making it a part of my weekly routine now, because it’s something I will need to get better at as I work towards a career in the C-suite.”    

In what ways do you feel like you’re studying at one of the world’s top executive MBA programmes? 

“The reputation of studying at a world-renowned business school is great to have on my CV. I felt that studying at an elite institution would open doors with top companies and I think it does highlight to employers that you’ve studied with the best,” Manny said. 

“Now I’m a student here, I feel like the professors and speakers we have are hugely knowledgeable and are full of insight. They understand the practicalities of taking the business education framework and applying it to people across different industries with hugely different problems to solve.  

“If I was to summarise the EMBA, I would say that it’s about understanding how to look at different challenges and solutions through different lenses and understanding where different people come from. The expertise within the school makes that learning hugely valuable. 

“I also study in The Shard in London, which is a famous skyscraper in the city. It’s a prominent building with its own reputation.”  

What are your relationships like with your academics and peers? 

For Manny, the best part of his EMBA study has been the relationships with his academics and peers. He said: “Knowing that you have a huge range of people to ask questions, share problems with and gain fresh viewpoints is wonderful.  

“I’ve almost finished my two-year part-time programme and the professors have been great. They’ve come with lots of practical and academic knowledge to push me further. I would say that they are in the top ring of business school academics for their inspiring teaching.” 

When it comes to his classmates, Manny believes that studying at an elite business school also gives you access to other high-profile candidates who have big ambitions and the determination to achieve their dreams.  

“It adds an extra level of value because you gain this tribe of people who go through the experience with you,” said Manny. “They come from different backgrounds and industries, but they largely have the same goals and targets. 

“I thought it would feel quite competitive, but everyone supports each other, and it helps us all to grow and achieve more. We all challenge each other’s thinking.”   

How is Warwick Business School challenging you to become a better business leader? 

“The executive MBA at WBS has given me a broader perspective of what leadership means,” said Manny. 

“It has taught me that, as a leader, I must have a clear vision and be able to communicate that to others. It’s about supporting the people around me, helping to bring them up and providing trust and respect to my team. 

“You're not going to have all the traits to be a perfect leader, but it’s about recognising the traits you do have and bringing in the right team to help you where you need it.” 

WBS has challenged Manny to consider new perspectives and frameworks to move through challenges effectively and find successful solutions. He said: “We’re provided with a lot of material to motivate our business thinking. The practical examples of what other business leaders have done to be agile and resilient and respond to challenges has been a big help.”  

What would you say to those considering an executive MBA at Warwick Business School? 

Attending open days, researching business schools online and speaking to as many people as possible about studying an EMBA – those are Manny’s three top tips.  

“Speak to current students and ask them everything you can think of. Ask about the intensity of the course and the social life you might have to reduce in order to succeed in your studies. Ask about the return on investment,” Manny said.  

“The most important thing is to understand what you want from the executive MBA. Everybody wants something different, so having a clear vision for what you aim to achieve is the best place to start.” 

This article was originally published in October 2022 .

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